Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Jewel

Title: The Jewel (The Lone City #1)
Author: Amy Ewing
Genre: YA Fantasy/Dystopia
Pages: 358
Purchase this book here

Violet Lasting is special.  She's special in a way that makes her, a lowly girl at the bottom of society, very desirable by royalty.  Royal women are not able to have their own children, and because of this, they hunt down all of the special young women in the poorest part of the country and force them into the role of "surrogate".  In other terms, they must birth the royal womens' children.  Violet Lasting has the qualities that deem her a surrogate, and after four years of training and preparation, she is being sent off to the auction, where she is to be sold off and forever stripped of her own freedom.  

This book had a very captivating start.  I was very intrigued by the unanswered questions it introduced and the new and different plot. However, as the story unfolded, it began to get a little uncomfortably weird. 

As you can see from the synopsis, it has a very interesting storyline.  Basically, this girl is forced into this life where she has no choices, no decisions, no freedom, and she has to give birth to this duchesses daughter.  At the beginning, I was hooked!  It went at a pretty fast pace, I wanted to know more about this girl's situation, and I thought it was very suspenseful.  But, as the story continued, things slowed down.  Like I mention, things start to get a little uncomfortable.  For example, Violet (who technically has no name outside of the number 197) has to wear a collar and a leash.  Er.... yeah.  Like, weird much? She is also required to refer to the duchess who purchased her as "mistress" and "my lady" every time she addresses the duchess.  

So things get a little weird, and the whole relationship between Violet and the Duchess is sort of abusive when you look at it.  

My other problem with this book was the romance.  I thought the idea Ewing had could have been a really cool storyline! However, a lot of the books "suspense" was built upon this forbidden romance. Personally, I feel like I would have enjoyed the book more if it didn't lean so heavily on the romance, and built Violet's forbidden friendship up more. 

My last complaint was that Ewing's antecedents didn't always agree with the pronoun.  For instance, she would use a few female names in a paragraph, and then use the pronoun "she" but it wasn't always clear which "she" Ewing was referring to.  This happened quite often, so I thought I'd mention it. 

On a happier note, the book picks up suspense at the end, and draws the reader back into the story.  I will be reading and reviewing the next book as well, mostly because I already own it.  

I could really go either way with my recommendation here.  If you're okay with some uncomfortable scenes, it's a pretty interesting and fast paced read. I give it a 3/5. 

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